“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass
The law is intimately connected with power and force. The law legitimizes power and creates it, authorizes force, punishes other types of force, acts through force, and so on.
In the book “The 48 Laws of Power”, Robert Greene catalogues different theories on how to gain power. In the preface he writes that mastering one’s emotions is the single greatest skill to power. “If you are trying to destroy an enemy who has hurt you, far better to keep him off-guard by feigning friendliness than showing your anger.”
He later writes that “without enemies around us, we grow lazy. An enemy at our heels sharpens our wits, keeping us focused and alert. It is sometimes better then to use enemies rather than transforming them into friends or allies”. A reference to President Lincoln’s recommendation that we destroy enemies by making them our friends.
Interestingly, he adds that verbal argument has only one vital use in the realm of power. It is to distract the audience when practicing deception. The book seems to me to read more like a satire. Similar to the Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
“Any man who tried to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great numbers who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge or refrain from using it as necessity requires.” – The Prince
(The views expressed in this blog are my personal views and do not reflect the views of any organization)